David Airey is an independent graphic designer working with companies of all sizes since 2005.

What if money was no object?

A thought-provoking short video narrated by philosopher Alan Watts (1915-1973).

“Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way.

“What we’re doing is we’re bringing up children, educating them, to live the same sort of lives we’re living, in order that they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children, to bring up their children to do the same things, so it’s all retch and no vomit. It never gets there.

“Therefore it’s so important to consider this question. What do I desire?”

Via Rick Banks.

My second book on Amazon

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13 appreciated comments about “What if money was no object?”

  1. Wonderful and very, very, very, true.

    I’m liking these sorts of non-design posts David, you have to look outside of design to become a better designer.

    Keep them coming. I’ve listened to this over and over today.

  2. I saw this video yesterday and you have posted it today. The only problem is you need to earn money to live in this system or else you are considered a parasite. If you have no money then you will be more miserable than having money doing something you don’t really like. Unfortunately money is the object spinning us out of control!

  3. A stand-out point is that when you spend enough time doing something you love, you eventually become a master of it. Then you can get a good fee for whatever it is.

    “Somebody’s interested in everything. Anything you can be interested in you’ll find others are.”

    It might take some time to get there, especially when in the short term the bills need to be paid doing something you don’t love, but even just a little every day, doing what matters to you, is time well spent.

  4. There’s no question that Alan Watts is completely right. We all instinctively know that you should spend your life doing what you love. And then we get caught up in the game of ‘success’ & ‘failure’ of ego and materialism. Most of the time, as designers, we are judged by other people’s standards – not least because they pay us. Some days, when I succeed in designing something I’m proud of, I actually forget I’m designing for money and just love what I’m doing. But it doesn’t happen often enough. What would I love to do? Not just a good question, but perhaps the only one.

  5. Dead on. Love it.

  6. Great find. Go with the flow with what you enjoy!

  7. Totally agree with you David it might take some time to get there.
    Alan Watts words are so true, we live in a world that’s becoming so materialistic everybody wants to have the latest gadgets, the newest car, unfortunately it’s all about money, I agree money is necessary, but most of the people think that money is the only matter in life.

  8. Reminded me of an Ian Dury lyric from Sex and Drugs and Rock & Roll that has always stuck in my head:

    “what a jolly bad show, if all you ever do is business you don’t like”

    I think you’re right, David pointing out the long term nature of what David Watts talks about. Idealism may require sacrifice at the beginning, but in the end it can become practical and profitable.

  9. Oops! Alan Watts. David Watts is from a Kinks song.

  10. Wow! That was amazing. :) I saw your book on Amazon and it brought me here. You’re an inspiration. Keep up the good work!

  11. “A stand-out point is that when you spend enough time doing something you love, you eventually become a master of it. ”

    This is excellent encouragement. Took a very long time and many years of education to learn this. Thank you for this..I will be passing it along :)

  12. Very inspirational, love the video, thanks for the heads up on this.

  13. Timeless wisdom indeed! These questions not only tickle people to give the answers but also to live them. A manifesto urging people to open eyes and arms and embrace life – doing the things you really love instead of trying to like the things you do. Even though it can be quite a tightrope walk considering the certain necessity of money. However, I think it’s not so much about moneyless living than avoiding to make money the motivation for your chosen way of life. Some are actually bold enough to make a life than rather make a living.

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